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Two missed layups and the inability to prevent yet another basket by Fairfield's 6 ft..4 in, center in the final seconds of the game caused the woman's basketball team to tumble, 56-54, before the Lady Stags in the season opener last night at the IAB.
The Crimson five did not allow Fairfield's height advantage to intimidate them in their efforts to make outside shots and to pass successfully the ball downfield.
With the starting lineup only decided yesterday of Kate Martin and Ann Scanell as point guards. Pat Horne and Rose Guarino as forwards and Franesa Hall as center, the hoopsters got off to an inconsistent start.
Inability to break through the Fairfield defense and sloppy passing marred the Crimson's speed and fast breaks down the field. Hall plowed her way through the Stags defense many times but was unable to connect with the basket.
However, the Crimson's defense, which blocked many of Fairfield's outside shots prevented the Stags from taking a large lead.
Harvard and Fairfield traded the ball back and forth like a hot patato with no one scoring for up to three minutes at a time during the first half. Fairfield's center, Katrina Field, the high scorer of the game with 20 points, dominated the offense, often tipping the ball effortlessly in from right under the basket.
The Crimson went into the locker room trailing 25-29, with their impetuous passing hindering their success.
A Different Team
The hoopsters came back strong after halftime with 5 ft. 11 in, center Janct Judge stifling Field's shots, penetrating the Stags man-to-man defense, and dumping the ball off to a hot-shooting Margaret Long.
With their momentum keyed up the Crimson took the lead 51-50 with 3:50 remaining for the first time since the early minutes of the game. The Stags held the ball and kept gathering offensive rebounds, and on their third attempt recovered the lead.
Freshman Andrea Mainclli with two clean swishes from the charity stripe pulled Harvard to a narrow 53-52 lead with 90 seconds left.
Finally, Fairfield's height took its tollon Harvard with Field scoring the game's final basket with 21 seconds left. Harvard missed two final chances to score as their cagerness culminated into sloppiness.
Even though the Crimson picked up their game and steadiness throughout the second half, "a couple of opportunities arose and we didn't take advantage of them," coach Carole Kleinfelder said. "I was really impressed with Andrea Mainelli's poise for a freshman." Kleinfelder added. Mainelli sunk four baskets on seven attempts.
Co-captain Horne said "We played really well, but we should have won the game." Dealing with Fairfield's height was very difficult, but "we did everything we wanted to do; we just came out on the short end."
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